Big Finish: Doctor Who OUT OF TIME 1 Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Big Finish: Doctor Who OUT OF TIME 1 Review

Matthew Kresal meets up with two old favorites.

There's something about multi-Doctor stories that get us Doctor Who fans excited. On-screen, it's something we only tend to get on the back of anniversary years (think The Five Doctors or The Day of the Doctor). Off-screen, with a plethora of spin-off media, it's something that happens slightly more often, but with no less excitement. With Out of Time 1 now out from the folks at Big Finish, fans have a chance to hear two fan favorites in action together.

Those favorites being Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor and David Tennant's Tenth Doctor, each arguably the most loved versions of the Doctor from televised Who's different incarnations. Here, with Matt Fitton's script under Nicholas Briggs' direction, we find them both at intriguing moments in their timelines: traveling alone, dealing with recent to them departures, seeking some solace of sorts at the Cathedral of Contemplation. Though, let's not kid ourselves, that was never going to last. Especially when Skaro's finest show up with a dastardly plan.

As that description might suggest, this isn't perhaps the most groundbreaking piece of work Big Finish (or indeed Fitton) has come up with in their time. Instead, the best way to describe Out of Time 1 is to call it what it is: a romp. A jolly good one, at that, if it's what you're in the mood to give a listen, especially with references to both Doctor's eras and the Classic and Modern eras of TV Who thrown into the mix. And there's much fun to be had, as a result.

For one thing, there are its two Doctors. Individually, it's clear that Baker and Tennant are having a good time being back in the role. All is present and correct with them, from the Fourth Doctor's eccentricity to the Tenth Doctor's "I'm so sorry," line at one point. Given that both have performed audio adventures for Big Finish in recent years, they feel like they've never been away, despite the decade(s) since they last portrayed their Doctor on television.

It's when they come together, though, that the story comes alive. Listening to this, I'm not sure who was more thrilled to be working with the other in this, and there's an infectious enthusiasm between Baker and Tennant that's apparent from their first scene together, bantering and arguing one another like Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee did in The Three Doctors. And yet, from the Tenth's reluctance to reveal himself to the Fourth to the Fourth's reaction to his future self's actions in the climax, there's a degree of compare and contrast element to the way both Fitton writes, and how these two actors perform, these Doctors that come out in their scenes, especially toward the end. For fans of either of these eras, it should make for fun listening, indeed.

Of course, Out of Time 1 is also packed with everything you'd expect from a Big Finish release. Nicholas Briggs is on fine form as the Daleks, channeling both Roy Skelton's voices from the Baker era as well as his own work from Tennant's era. There's a dependable supporting cast, including Tennant-era Who veterans Kathryn Drysdale and Claire Rushbrook, as well. Meanwhile, Howard Carter hands in another dynamic piece of sound design and music, bringing the high concept world of the Cathedral of Contemplation and its Dalek invasion.

Having said all that, here are the questions you need to ask yourself as a fan. Do you want to hear two actors returning to iconic roles having a whale of a time? Or Daleks at their most exterminating? Or enough references to Classic and Modern Who to make a fan say "aha," from time to time? If so, then Out of Time 1's multi-Doctor romp is just what the Doctors ordered.

Matthew Kresal lives in North Alabama where he's a nerd, doesn't have a southern accent and isn't a Republican. He's a host of both the Big Finish centric Stories From The Vortex podcast and the 20mb Doctor Who Podcast. You can read more of his writing at his blog and at The Terrible Zodin fanzine, amongst other places. 

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